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Johanna Rita Powers "Judy" 1920-1986

Johanna Rita Powers, who friends and family called “Judy”, was born on May 23rd, 1920 in Somerville, MA. Before 1925, she moved with her family to Essex St. Saugus, now Wakefield, where she grew up.

After graduating high school, she attended the Chelsea Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and graduated as a Registered Nurse on June 20, 1944 at the age of 24. During nursing school from 1943 to 1945, she lived with her brother Thomas and her parents at 15 Winthrop St. in Melrose, a home Thomas bought in 1941.

Following graduation from nursing school, Johanna attended the basic training course for Army Nurses at Lowell General Hospital and graduated as a Second Lieutenant at Fort Devens Military Base on December 9, 1944.

Johanna served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps with the 308th Army General Hospital Unit who were deployed in the Pacific Theatre during and after World War II.

The 308th General Hospital Unit was deployed to the island of Tinian, one of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. In August of 1945, the Enola Gay flew from Tinian Island and dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Following the war, the 308th General Hospital Unit was sent to Kure, Japan, just south of Hiroshima and was finally sent to Etajima, Japan with the occupation forces.

At the end of her service, Johanna arrived back in the United States at the port of Seattle, WA, aboard the USS General R. M. Blatchford Navy ship on Sunday, March 17, 1946. She completed her Army separation on April 26, 1946 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. For her service, Johanna was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque. She is honored for her service at the World War II Honor Roll Memorial on Main St. in Melrose, where her name is listed. She is pictured below, on the right, in front of the memorial.

After the war, Johanna continued to work as a nurse. On January 2, 1948 Johanna purchased a house at 16 Emerson Place in Melrose for $11,200 with a 16-year mortgage and a monthly payment of $79.08. On January 1, 1949 she lived there with her parents John and Bridget, and her brother William. Her father John died at the home on January 3, 1949.

Johanna, her mother Bridget and brother William continued to live at 16 Emerson Place until she sold the home on September 21, 1954. In January 1955, Johanna purchased a home at 58 Perkins Avenue in Malden. She lives there together with her mother Bridget until she sold the home in 1960. Johanna moved back to Essex St. in Wakefield with her mother and lived there until her mother's death in 1965. She later moved to Billerica, MA.

Johanna died on December 12, 1986. She was buried at the Fox Hill Cemetery in Billerica, MA. Her brother Walter and his wife Emily were later buried at the same gravesite.

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